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Tablet ads 40 times more effective than web ads: UK newspapers

by Patrick Pierra

May 22 2014

The average “tap” (or interaction) rate of tablet ads is almost 0.8%, according to a survey by the marketing bureau of UK newspapers.

The effectiveness of web ads has traditionally been measured first with their click-through rate: How many times an ad is clicked for every 100 views. As this CTR eroded over the years, UK newspapers now claim that tablets allow a stunning 40x lift in the ad response rate.

Newsworks, the marketing body of the still-strong UK newspaper industry, surveyed how tablet news readers responded to digital ad campaigns from 20 advertisers over three months.

Called Tablet Project, the survey included campaigns from major brands such as Audi, Canon, Kia, LG and Sony, displayed in iPad and Android tablet apps.

Results, announced this week, show that the average “tap” rate of these ads on tablets was 0.79%. Newsworks claims this figure is 40 times higher that the average click-through rate they see on web ads, and which is now as low as 0.02%.

The average “dwell” time, or time spent looking at or interacting with an ad, was 7 seconds. This figure, too, is far higher than the average time spent with web ads.

Figures vary somewhat by industry sector an advertiser belongs to but they remain within a close range, as the graph below shows:


The ad format had a higher impact on these metrics, though. While video ads had the higher tap rate (1.06%), users spent more time with interactive ads (9 seconds).

Here are the figures per creative type:


For the benefit of advertisers and agencies, Newsworks drew the following conclusions:

Creative observations:
• Text links drive strong tap rates when the link is clearly signposted and copy is action-orientated
• Video delivers a powerful combination of both tap rate and dwell time but it is key that video content is clearly signposted with a play button and the content is relevant and fresh
• Interactive ads engage readers, with considerably longer than average dwell times, but keep content informative, engaging and easy to navigate

Top tips:
• Keep it simple – from a redefined language for tablets that acknowledges their unique characteristics to simple, fun and engaging copy, don't over-complicate tablet comms
• Be directional – tell the reader what you want them to do with your ad
• Give the user control – allow them to choose how much or how little they want to interact
• Remember the campaign objectives – keep the aim of the campaign at the heart of your thinking; don't let what is possible control what you do with your ad - let what needs to be achieved dictate the type and level of interaction

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